Down a country road, behind stained glass are dozens of names and faces of black men and women who’ve been killed over the last several decades.
“We want to honor these lives. We want to talk about systemic racism. We want to talk about racial justice, and we want to bring it to people in a comfortable setting,” said Melissa Tate.
This week, Tate opened up her family farm in Rockwall, not to be political but to give her community a chance to have start important conversations close to home.
“I’m a firm believer in loving thy neighbor, and I feel like loving thy neighbor is loving every single person," said Tate.
She said she was inspired by ‘Say Their Names’ memorials that have popped up around the country, including in Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park.
But just a few weeks after it, Tate found herself adding yet another name after a Wolfe City police officer killed Jonathan Price Saturday night.
“His story, it's near and dear to my heart not only because it's in Texas, because it's close. But because his story reminds me of the black men in my life,” said Tate.
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As the mother of a biracial son, Tate said she’s watched how social injustice can create barriers in a young person’s life.
That’s why even as she’s felt reminded that there’s still work to be done, she’s not backing down.
"I hate that the numbers keep going up, and I would love to see it end and us to never put another name in here. But as long as they continue to go up, we will continue to put the pictures in, we will continue to put the names in and we will continue to share those stories, because i don't want to see these people's lives lost in vain,” said Tate.
The memorial remains open through Monday, Oct.12. Over the weekend, it’s open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On weekdays, it’s open from noon to 6 p.m.
The memorial is free and open to the public.
Those interested in a private viewing can request one at firstname.lastname@example.org.